One Minute Mindfulness

Student-led mindfulness practice from Denise Nobile on Vimeo.

A mindfulness process run by sixth graders at Somers Middle School, children taught by Denise Nobile’s practice every day. I invite you to join in, with them, no matter what your age.

A cup of mindfulness

Then, if you'd like to continue with a mindfulness practice, you can start with just one minute, each day, by simply stopping, bringing your focus to the present moment, and taking a few breaths. You don't need a bell as a reminder. You can use anything that is in your present moment. Bring your full attention to what is in front of you. Next time you're at a cafe, stop and notice your coffee cup. Stop and really look, did the barista create a pattern? Notice the cup and the colour, the smell. And then take a few breaths before drinking. Then continue with your day.

New Year, New Start

They say that the only thing that is constant in our lives is change. We are all being asked to grow and change each day, but we probably aren't aware of it. Babies grow into toddlers, toddlers change so quickly, before you know it the teenager years are there and then young adulthood arrives. Middle age and old age come along, and really we don't really notice the changes each day, but if we look back and go through photos, it can be amazing to see the transitions.

Everyday our bodies are changing, in subtle ways. And what of our inner worlds? Have you ever taken the time to consider what changes you have made on the inside, over the years? Are your thoughts and attitudes still the same ones that you had as a young person? Chances are many things have changed on the inside as well.

As we start the New Year, it can be a time to think about where you'd like to head and also if there are any changes you'd like to make in your life.

If you'd like to try this exercise, take out your journal and copy or print out the wheel above.

On the scale of 1-10 mark out how satisfied you are with each area of your life. If all is going fabulous, couldn't be better - give it a 10. Things are OK, but I'd like to improve in an area, perhaps a 7. I am sure you get the idea.

Now each day, put a little focus into each of the areas that are important to you. If a relationship is important, but you haven't been connecting lately, what is one small step you could do to make a difference. If exercise is another area that you'd like to see improvement, what is one small action you could take each day, to include more exercise?

If you would like to have a session on this topic, to clarify where you would like to head, and create more of what you want, call to book a session today.

Happy New Year, may you create some great connections and wonder in your life. Contact Kareen: click here.

How To Have a Better Conversation

"When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don't converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations."

In the video above, Celeste talks about texting, and how we think we are connecting. These days it seems to have become the norm to send texts and emails rather than to call someone. In your life, how many texts or emails do you send? Do you prefer texting or emailing to face to face conversations? Sadly many relationships are suffering because we are no longer truly connecting with other important people in our lives.

Who could you call today for a conversation?

Forget big change, start with a tiny habit

What if someone told you to floss only one tooth everyday? Or start the new year, not with grand resolutions, but with a simple challenge.. like ONE pushup a day? BJ Fogg shows us that the key to lasting change does not lie in planning big, monumental changes, but in thinking really, really small.

Reducing Anxiety with Music

"Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to know what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation. The study involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.

What they found is that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

Interestingly, the song was specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.

In fact, the music is so effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving."

Music by Marconi Union

Information from: Carolanne Wright.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotions matter. What we do with our emotions is especially important. When perceived accurately and regulated effectively, emotions help us to focus on important tasks, make effective decisions, enjoy healthy relationships, and manage life's ups and downs.

Part 1 of a workshop by Marc Brackett, co-creator of the RULER Approach to Social Emotional Learning

Click on image to enlarge.

How Victim Thinking Stops Innovation

There is a story about two young twin brothers who walked into a barn with their grandfather. One boy complained about the foul-smelling manure and ran out of the barn while complaining about getting manure on his shoes. The other boy raced through the barn with excitement and yelled to his grandfather, "With all this manure, there must be a pony somewhere!" The first boy saw himself as a Victim of the manure and its smell. The second boy saw the manure and linked it to greater possibilities. Which boy do you identify with?

Do you complain about life's bumps, or do you see challenging issues as an opportunity to innovate and create new possibilities? Tough times can magnify your view of situations. If you see difficult issues through the eyes of a Victim you might say: "The budget has been slashed so there's no way we can accomplish our goals" or "I'm at the mercy of my bad boss" or "voters won't approve of that idea."

Victim mentality sucks the life out of innovative energy. People with Victim-like thinking can be addicted to the drama and complaining rather than seeing the possibility of innovation and new approaches.

The Creator/innovator, on the other hand, clarifies what they want and goes after that outcome step by step. Not brought down by the situation, they ask themselves, "What do I want to focus on despite this challenge in front of me?" The fundamental difference between the Victim mindset and the Creator/innovator mindset is the quality of attention. When in the Victim orientation, the focus is on what you don't want.

With a Creator mindset, the focus is on what you do want, rather than focusing on setbacks or obstacles. Often it is two steps forward and a step back. But with each step the Creator trusts they are getting closer to and clearer about what they want. It is no secret that now, more than ever, people feel victimized by circumstances such as toxic politics, not having enough time or money, their poor work environment, an illness or their bad childhood. Despite these challenges, the Creator/innovator mindset sees failure as an opportunity to grow, and trusts in the cycle of breakdown to breakthrough.

Staying in the Creator/innovator mindset is not always easy----it goes against our human tendency to see problems first. It takes commitment and desire to remember that your true essence is as a Creator/innovator. People who forget their true essence as a Creator are at risk of taking-on Victim thinking. That's how thinking like a Victim stops innovation!

The only thing Victim thinking creates is more misery for their co-workers, family members and themselves. Because Victim thinking can be very subtle and unconscious, we encourage you to notice your Victim thoughts and feelings when they arise. When they do, learn to shift your perspective by asking: "What's the outcome I want here?" and "What conditions can I create that foster a Creator/innovator mindset?"

Now the conversation has an opportunity to shift from complaints and problems to a more inspiring destination. When you begin to do this, others will ask you to join their conversation and share your knack for turning problems into opportunities. This is a powerful shift, but no one can do it for you. The fact is, only you can notice the lens in which you relate to the world. It's your choice. Do you see a barn full of manure or look for the pony?

This article is by By David Emerald & Donna Zajonc, MCC website:

Learn more about The Drama Triangle - click here